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Arsenio Hall – Show, Movies & Coming to America

Arsenio Hall is an American actor and comedian and was the first Black late night talk show host, on his groundbreaking ‘The Arsenio Hall Show.’

Who Is Arsenio Hall?

Arsenio Hall is an American actor, comedian and former talk show host. In Chicago, he tried out stand-up comedy and was soon “discovered,” later opening for Aretha Franklin and others. He appeared in the 1980s film Coming to America and Harlem Nights, but he is best known as the first Black late night talk show host. His groundbreaking talk show The Arsenio Hall Show ran from 1989-1994. He has starred in a variety of other TV projects and hosted his own late night show once again from 2013 to 2014.

‘The Arsenio Hall Show’

Back in 1987, however, Hall had tapped into what would be his most successful professional endeavor. He took over hosting duties from Joan Rivers on The Late Show. His easygoing, playful and somewhat risqué banter was a hit with audiences. Based on that success, he was approached to host his own syndicated late night talk show. Two years later, The Arsenio Hall Show was born. Hall’s deal included hosting and executive producing duties on the show, which was produced by Paramount and his own company, Arsenio Hall Productions. 

As the first Black late night talk show host, one of Hall’s distinctions is that he provided what was the first, and for a time, only, showcase for hardcore rap and hip-hop artists, and for controversial guests like Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader.



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